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man page for superformat (all section 1)

superformat(1)				       General Commands Manual				       superformat(1)

       superformat - format floppies

       This  manpage has been automatically generated from fdutils's texinfo documentation.  However, this process is
       only approximative, and some items, such as cross-references, footnotes and indices are lost in this  transla-
       tion  process.	Indeed, these items have no appropriate representation in the manpage format.  Moreover, only
       the items specific to each command have been translated, and the general information about  fdutils  has  been
       dropped in the manpage version.	Thus I strongly advise you to use the original texinfo doc.

       *      To generate a printable copy from the texinfo doc, run the following commands:

		     ./configure; make dvi; dvips fdutils.dvi

       *      To generate a HTML copy,	run:

		     ./configure; make html

	      A pre-made HTML can be found at: `http://www.tux.org/pub/knaff/fdutils'

       *      To generate an info copy (browsable using emacs' info mode), run:

		     ./configure; make info

       The  texinfo  doc looks most pretty when printed or as HTML.  Indeed, in the info version certain examples are
       difficult to read due to the quoting conventions used in info.

	  superformat [-D dos-drive] [-v verbosity-level] [-b begin-track]
	  [-e end-track] [--superverify] [--dosverify]
	  [--noverify] [--verify_later] [--zero-based]
	  [-G format-gap] [-F final-gap] [-i interleave] [-c chunksize]
	  [-g gap] [--absolute-skew absolute-skew] [--head-skew head-skew]
	  [--track-skew track-skew] [--biggest-last] drive [media-description]

       superformat is used to format disks with a capacity of up to 1992K HD or 3984K ED.  See section Extended  for-
       mats,  for  a detailed description of these formats. See section Media description, for a detailed description
       of the syntax for the media description.  If no media description is given, superformat formats a disk in  the
       highest available density for that drive, using standard parameters (i.e. no extra capacity formats).

       When  the disk is formatted, superformat automatically invokes mformat in order to put an MS-DOS filesystem on
       it. You may ignore this filesystem, if you don't need it.

       Superformat allows one to format 2m formats.  Be aware, however,  that  these  2m  formats  were  specifically
       designed  to  hold  an  MS-DOS filesystem, and that they take advantage of the fact that the MS-DOS filesystem
       uses redundant sectors on the first track (the FAT, which is represented twice). The second copy of the FAT is
       not represented on the disk.

       High  capacity  formats are sensitive to the exact rotation speed of the drive and the resulting difference in
       raw capacity.  That's why superformat performs a measurement of the disks raw capacity before proceeding  with
       the  formatting.  This measurement is rather time consuming, and can be avoided by storing the relative devia-
       tion of the drive capacity into the drive definition file file.	See  section  Drive  descriptions,  for  more
       details	on  this file. The line to be inserted into the drive definition file is printed by superformat after
       performing its measurement.  However, this line depends on the drive and the controller.  Do not  copy  it  to
       other computers.  Remove it before installing another drive or upgrade your floppy controller.  Swap the drive
       numbers if you swap the drives in your computer.

Common Options
       Many options have a long and a short form.

       --help Print the help.

       -D drive
       --dosdrive dos-drive
	      Selects DOS drive letter for mformat (for example a: or b:).  The colon may be omitted.  The default is
	      derived  from  the minor device number.  If the drive letter cannot be guessed, and is not given on the
	      command line, mformat is skipped.

       -v verbosity-level
       --verbosity verbosity-level
	      Sets the verbosity level. 1 prints a dot for each formatted track. 2 prints a changing  sign  for  each
	      formatted track (- for formatting the first head, = for formatting the second head, x for verifying the
	      first head, and + for verifying the second head). 3 prints a complete line listing head  and  track.  6
	      and 9 print debugging information.

	      Verifies the disk by first reading the track, than writing a pattern of U's, and then reading it again.
	      This is useful as some errors only show up after the disk has once been written.	However, this is also

	      Verifies	the  disk  using the mbadblocks program.  mbadblocks marks the bad sectors as bad in the FAT.
	      The advantage of this is that disks which are only partially bad can still be used for MS-DOS  filesys-

	      Verifies	the  whole  disk at the end of the formatting process instead of at each track. Verifying the
	      disk at each track has the advantage of detecting errors early on.

	      Skips the verification altogether.

	      Does not format, but prints the drive deviation. If file /etc/driveprm exists and provides a  deviation
	      for the drive, nothing is printed and the disk is not formatted.

Advanced Options
       Usually,  superformat  uses  sensible default values for these options, which you normally don't need to over-
       ride.  They are intended for expert users.  Most of them should only be needed in cases where the hardware  or
       superformat itself has bugs.

       -b begin-track
       --begin_track  begin-track
	      Describes  the track where to begin formatting.  This is useful if the previous formatting failed half-
	      way through.  The default is 0.

       -e end-track
       --end_track end-track
	      Describes where to stop formatting. end_track is the last track to  be  formatted  plus  one.  This  is
	      mainly  useful  for testing purposes. By default, this is the same as the total number of tracks.  When
	      the formatting stops, the final skew is displayed (to be used as absolute skew when you'll continue).

       -S sizecode
       --sizecode sizecode
	      Set the sector size to be used. The sector size is 128 * (2 ^ sizecode).	Sector sizes below 512	bytes
	      are not supported, thus sizecode must be at least 2. By default 512 is assumed, unless you ask for more
	      sectors than would fit with 512 bytes.

       --stretch stretch
	      Set the stretch factor. The stretch factor describes how many physical tracks to skip  to  get  to  the
	      next  logical  track  (2	^ stretch).  On double density 5 1/4 disks, the tracks are further apart from
	      each other.

       -G fmt-gap
       --format_gap fmt-gap
	      Set the formatting gap. The formatting gap tells how far the sectors  are  away  from  each  other.  By
	      default, this is chosen so as to evenly distribute the sectors along the track.

       -F final-gap
       --final_gap final-gap
	      Set the formatting gap to be used after the last sector.

       -i interleave
       --interleave interleave
	      Set the sector interleave factor.

       -c chunksize
       --chunksize chunksize
	      Set  the	size  of  the chunks. The chunks are small auxiliary sectors used during formatting. They are
	      used to handle heterogeneous sector sizes (i.e. not all sectors have the same size) and  negative  for-
	      matting gaps.

	      For  MSS	formats,  make sure that the biggest sector is last on the track.  This makes the format more
	      reliable on drives which are out of spec.

	      Formats the disk with sector numbers starting at 0, rather than 1. Certain CP/M boxes or Music  synthe-
	      sizers  use  this  format.  Those  disks	can  currently	not  be read/written to by the standard Linux
	      read/write API; you have to use fdrawcmd to access them.	As disk verifying is done by this API,	veri-
	      fying is automatically switched off when formatting zero-based.

Sector skewing options
       In  order to maximize the user data transfer rate, the sectors are arranged in such a way that sector 1 of the
       new track/head comes under the head at the very moment when the drive is ready to read from that track,	after
       having  read  the  previous track. Thus the first sector of the second track is not necessarily near the first
       sector of the first track.  The skew value describes for each track how far sector number 1 is away  from  the
       index mark. This skew value changes for each head and track. The amount of this change depends on how fast the
       disk spins, and on how much time is needed to change the head or the track.

       --absolute_skew absolute-skew

	      Set the absolute skew. This skew value is used for the first formatted track.  It is expressed  in  raw

       --head_skew head-skew

	      Set  the	head  skew. This is the skew added for passing from head 0 to head 1.  It is expressed in raw

       --track_skew track-skew

	      Set the track skew. This is the skew added for seeking to the next  track.   It  is  expressed  in  raw

       Example: (absolute skew=3, head skew=1, track skew=2)

	  track 0 head 0: 4,5,6,1,2,3	(skew=3)
	  track 0 head 1: 3,4,5,6,1,2	(skew=4)

	  track 1 head 0: 1,2,3,4,5,6	(skew=0)
	  track 1 head 1: 6,1,2,3,4,5	(skew=1)

	  track 2 head 0: 4,5,6,1,2,3	(skew=3)
	  track 2 head 1: 3,4,5,6,1,2	(skew=4)

       N.B.  For simplicity's sake, this example expresses skews in units of sectors. In reality, superformat expects
       the skews to be expressed in raw bytes.

Media description
       Please see the Media description section in the full fdutils documentation:
       - Texinfo documentation (info fdutils)
       - HTML documentation in /usr/share/doc/fdutils/Fdutils.html
       - or DVI documentation in /usr/share/doc/fdutils/Fdutils.dvi.gz

       In all the examples of this section, we assume that drive 0 is a 3 1/2 and drive 1 a 5 1/4.

       The following example shows how to format a 1440K disk in drive 0:

	  superformat /dev/fd0 hd

       The following example shows how to format a 1200K disk in drive 1:

	  superformat /dev/fd1 hd

       The following example shows how to format a 1440K disk in drive 1:

	  superformat /dev/fd1 hd sect=18

       The following example shows how to format a 720K disk in drive 0:

	  superformat /dev/fd0 dd

       The following example shows how to format a 1743K disk in drive 0 (83 cylinders times 21 sectors):

	  superformat /dev/fd0 sect=21 cyl=83

       The following example shows how to format a 1992K disk in drive 0 (83 cylinders times 2 heads times 12 KB  per

	  superformat /dev/fd0 tracksize=12KB cyl=83 mss

       The  following  example	shows  how  to	format a 1840K disk in drive 0. It will have 5 2048-byte sectors, one
       1024-byte sector, and one 512-byte sector per track:

	  superformat /dev/fd0 tracksize=23b mss 2m ssize=2KB

       All these formats can be autodetected by mtools, using the floppy driver's default settings.

       FDC busy, sleeping for a second
	      When another program accesses a disk drive on the same controller as the one being formatted, superfor-
	      mat  has	to wait until the other access is finished.  If this happens, check whether any other program
	      accesses a drive (or whether a drive is mounted), kill that program (or unmount  the  drive),  and  the
	      format should proceed normally.

       I/O errors during verification
	      Your  drive  may	be too far out of tolerance, and you may thus need to supply a margin parameter.  Run
	      floppymeter (see section	floppymeter) to find out an appropriate value for this parameter, and add the
	      suggested margin parameter to the command line

       Opening	up  new  window while superformat is running produces overrun errors. These errors are benign, as the
       failed operation is automatically retried until it succeeds.

See Also
       Fdutils' texinfo doc

fdutils-5.5					       03Mar05					       superformat(1)

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